Friday 24 April 2020

Age of Sigmar: Treelord Ancient TO-DONE!!!

Hi folks,

Yesterday I finished attaching the Treelord to its base and adding the finishing touches. I am very happy with the final result, it is literally a demonstration of my best painting at this stage in my hobby journey. There are several areas that I could improve with hindsight, and I made some sketchy decisions along the way, but that is all part of the story now. I am not going to say much more; as I have said on other platforms, at some stage you just have to put the brush down and let the artwork speak for itself. Here is the Treelord Ancient I have entered in my local Warhammer store's "Monster" painting competition:

"Ancient Gloriaur of Chamon, guardian of the golden wellspring of the river Alyaduith, which he transmutes into pure water. It’s flow irrigates the crops of the Ironbark Glade, producing a resource that is vital to the Grand Alliance of Order, in a realm where gold is more plentiful than food."


The models should be judged by tomorrow, so hopefully I will be able to share some other entries and the results.

See you across the table,



Age of Sigmar: Treelord Ancient Progress 3

Hi folks,

Yesterday I knuckled down and completed construction of the base, which ended up being more technical than constructing the miniature itself. I was inspired by this article in the February 2019 White Dwarf, which showcased some techniques for making bases that reflect the metal realm of Chamon. I have used both the techniques outlined, one for making interesting rock formations and one for making bubbles in liquid.

I started the the process by cutting up some sprue pieces and gluing them together with polystyrene glue for a very strong bond. It would need this to survive being sawed into smaller pieces of different sizes. I also carefully rolled some different sized balls of green stuff, which would be cut in half and glued to the "molten gold" later to represent bubbles.

While those pieces were curing, I got the base and marked out where the stream of "molten gold" was going to go. I then filled that space in with PVA and left it to cure in the sun on a windowsill, to change the texture of the base a bit (instead of the fine bumps of a stock base. On a previous day, I had attached three smaller bases with Selleys Liquid Nails and sculpted around the rims. This would provide the model with some extra elevation above the stream and give more space for the crystals to shine.

Watching this dry was exactly as exciting as it sounds.

With all the glues set, I cut the sprues into different sizes using a razor saw and added then to the base in clumps. I also very carefully cut the green stuff balls in half, which was difficult; like cutting up frozen peas! I used superglue to attach the "bubbles" and polystyrene glue to attach the crystals.

By this stage the sun had gone down. With 24 hours to go, I picked a selection of paints from my station and moved to the kitchen, hoping that the wifey wouldn't mind me smashing out the paint job. Thankfully, she is playing through Bastion on the Nintendo Switch at the moment, so we had a really pleasant evening with the fire crackling, chatting about our various trials. Here is how it looked after the painting was complete:

In the last five minutes I added some crushed rock that I had gathered during the day. It is actually solidified lava (as a science teacher, it gets donated to me regularly!), which is black/grey with metallic flecks through it. I left it overnight for the PVA to set. During the night, I finished the job about 100 times in my dreams; I went through the final stages over and over again in my head. In the morning I had breakfast and then glued the model to the base, then added crushed rock around the feet. Nearly there. I then took some small pieces of a plant that we get from a tree here in Australia that, when broken apart, look like sturdy miniature dead leaves (because that is what they are). I added a couple of these strategically around the base to added another light colour that compliments the model.

Waiting for the leaves to dry was excruciating!

I then sat back and let the glue dry before taking my final photos for the competition, which ends tomorrow. When I finished the model part a few nights ago, I literally jumped in the air a couple of times, I was so elated to get it finished. After actually finishing the project, I was too tired to do this!

On the weekend I will post the final photos of this project. Whilst I would obviously love to win, it was always about giving my local store some sales before they closed down for an indefinite period. In that sense, I have already achieved what I set out to do, in supporting one of the few local businesses I really deeply appreciate. From it, I know have a centerpiece for a new army that I am very proud of, with an interesting backstory (more about that later!).

See you across the table,


Monday 20 April 2020

Age of Sigmar: Treelord Ancient Progress 2

Hi folks,

Things have been a bit quiet on the blog this month, as I try to finish this project before the deadline this Saturday. It has taken me four days to finish the leg section, which wasn't entirely unexpected. It is the largest section and includes all of the detail I have previously established a scheme for, plus a few extras. I took some quick snaps tonight in really poor lighting, which will just have to do for now.

I have painted the loin cloth to match the beard, mainly to limit the pallet somewhat, but also as a cheeky nod to an old friend. I have also painted the little Aelf gem in dark blue using a simple jewelling technique.

I have continued the pastel leaf colour all the way down the leg, which looks really cool when you view the model side-on. I'll have to try and get that into the shot when I submit my entry. I have also left a little clue on the leg relating to his home realm.

In the picture above I think you can see all of the subtle blending I used on the legs to transition between the different shades of brown. The detail on the model is just amazing, no wonder it took four days to paint.

I have started constructing the base as well, which is going to be a huge job itself. Hopefully towards the end I can show the step-by-step process that I used.

See you across the table,


Wednesday 15 April 2020

Age of Sigmar: Treelord Ancient Progress 1

Hi folks,

The school holidays in Australia have just started, so I have had some extra time work on this big fella (he's surprisingly small for a monster, actually). To start with I was cursing the fact that I bought a Treelord, as it has so much tiny detail. Now that I am cracking on with the fine detail work, though, I am loving it; there are so many different and interesting parts to bring to life.

To start the process I primed the whole model using Vallejo Surface Primer, then I airbrushed a layer of US Desert Armour, highlighted around the branches with Carne Muerte and Blanco Calavera.

I blocked in some more layers, including some Doombull Brown heartwood and The Fang beard and loincloth. I then washed the US Desert Armour with XV-88 (fast becoming one of my favourite paints), the Doombull Brown with Rhinox Hide and The Fang with Nuln Oil (musts saves the precious).

You can see on the torso above where I became impatient and tried out a couple of leaves and the darker blending on the bottom edge of the light bark. The leaves where a blend of Carne Muerte (Dead Flesh) and Caledor Sky, giving a really groovy pastel turquoise. This was really different to the bright green I was originally going to try for, but once done I loved it too much to change it back.

Every day for the past two days I have been finishing the detail on a section, starting with the head.

The tiny blue glow from the fungus growing out of his head was the hardest part, I ended up just washing it in there and hoping for the best.

Today I finished the torso as well and attached the head. I'm so glad I added some extra mushrooms to the chest, though again, the blue glow was hard to add (less was more in this case).

You may have noticed an Australian 10 cent piece in some photos. I have been posting these photos on Facebook for my family and friends to see for the first time... ever. The coin has helped people understand the scale we all work at. It has been nice to share the hobby that I love with people that usually wouldn't get to see it, not nearly as terrifying as I thought it would be back when I started!

Tomorrow, I'll try and work on the legs. Then I will be taking some artistic risks to represent this guy's Realm, though I guess I can always just paint over the limbs if they don't look good. I have a million basing ideas as well, we'll have to see how much time I have left. The competition closes in 10 days, though, to be honest, this was always more about supporting my local store than winning. 

See you across the table,


Friday 3 April 2020

Age of Sigmar: Treelord Ancient Build Part 1

Hi folks,

Just before my local GW store closed its doors due to social distancing restrictions, I went in to choose a monster so that I could enter their Monster painting competition. It was a difficult choice, as the large models in the Age of Sigmar range are just phenomenal at the moment, but I ended up walking out with a Start Collecting Sylvaneth box to add to Penny's Wild Riders and Sisters of the Thorn. The box comes with a Treelord, which fits the entry conditions of the painting competition, and I have always had a soft spot for Dryads.

Last night I spent a bit of time constructing the Treelord, using a mixture of the Treelord Ancient and the normal Treelord parts. It was quite a challenging build, as many of the parts have three versions, each specific for the pose of one of the options and only compatible with certain other pieces. For someone building a hybrid, that makes it very easy to pick pieces that don't fit together. I only made one significant mistake doing this, mixing the hip joint and ankles of two different poses, which was serious in the grand scheme of things as it effects the models ability to stand. Pulling it apart was successful but hard, with only one piece (his butt) being irretrievable for the rebuild. That's not a huge loss, you can hardly see it and it is intentionally sculpted to look like nothing anyway.

This morning, with the polystyrene glue all set, I have been filling gaps with green stuff and doing some sculpting work. In particular, I am adding a large number of mushrooms to his body. I am trying for a Realm of Shyish theme, with these Sylvaneth coming from Satyr's End, in the region of Lyria. They are the wardens of the vine-shrouded sanctuary to Alarielle, in the human city of Glymmsforge, which spreads living limbs over the rooftops of the city. They tend to the living trees there, carefully excising a deadly magical fungus that seeks to infest them; a grim reminder of the realm they live in. Whilst the aelves are immune to its effects, the treelords and dryads are not. Who knows what the fungus will do when it wrestles control of these gentle servants of Alarielle, or what deadly symbiosis they will form...

Next step will be priming and undercoating; a job for the airbrush I think.

See you across the table,